By Mourice Seretta
The Kenya Film and Classification Board, KFCB, has raised concerns over sharing of graphic and disturbing audio visual content on social media platforms in utter disregard for the interests and safety of children and other vulnerable members of society.
Addressing the media on Wednesday 26th April 2023 at the Board’s Headquarters at Uchumi House in Nairobi, the Board’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Mr Christopher Wambua said that some social media users are increasingly misusing digital apps to host and stream live video sessions of explicit adult shows in blatant breach of the laws of the land.
‘Indeed, some apps are being transformed into digital brothels from midnight onwards. Equally worrying is the non-consensual dissemination of intimate images or videos of individuals in violation of privacy laws,’ Wambua said.
KFCB Ag CEO Christpher Wambua speaking to the press
The Board also raises concern that all these activities are happening at a time when children, who ar heavy users of the internet and social media, are at home for the April holidays.
‘As a society, we need to step back for a moment and reflect on whether we are losing the values that define us as a people, lost our African philosophy of Ubuntuism, normalized violence and misogyny to the point of being insensitive to these vices?’ Wambua quipped.
Wambua warned that it is illegal to share intimate images or videos of other parties without their consent. He added that section 37 of the computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act states that ‘A person who transfers, publishes, or disseminates, including making a digital depiction available for distribution or downloading through a telecommunications network or through any other means of transferring data to a computer, the intimate or obscene image of another person commits an offence and is liable, on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.’
KFCB Board members during the presser at Uchumi House.
‘The laws of Kenya outlaw the distribution and possession of obscene cinematography films meant to corrupt morals. In particular, Section 181 (1) (a) of the penal code states that any person for the purpose of or by way of trade or distribution or public exhibition makes of has in his possession any obscene cinematograph films tending to corrupt morals is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for two years or to a fine of seven thousand shillings.’ Wambua further stated.
The Board is now urging social media platform operators, online distributors and exhibitors to enforce their community guidelines strictly to avoid misuse of their platforms.
‘We further appeal to parents, caregivers and guardians to pay attention and to keenly monitor the content children under their care access on social media networks, broadcast channels and other platforms. In cases where children have access to the Internet and smart devices, parents must exercise responsibility to ensure minors do not access inappropriate content,’ Wambua advised.
KFCB Board AG CEO with KFCB’s Communications Director Nelly Muluka.
The Board also urged parents, caregivers to activate the safety features available on various platforms and smart devices used by minors in order to protect children from corruption of their morals.
It further urges registered audio-visual content platforms and operators across the country to ensure they adhere to provisions of Cap 222 and other laws, including creating that does not compromise culture, moral values and national aspirations.